Game Center: Lokomotiv, Darusaffaka to the Finals!
In a show of force that confirmed why they were the top-seeded teams in the competition, Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar and Darussafaka Istanbul both surged into the 7DAYS EuroCup Finals by winning on the road in Game 2 on Friday to sweep their best-of-three semifinals series by 2-0 each. Lokomotiv, which set a EuroCup record with its 20th consecutive win this season, will have home-court advantage in the best-of-three finals, which start on Tuesday, April 10 in Krasnodar, Russia.
Semifinal A: FC Bayern Munich 83-87 Darussafaka Istanbul (0-2)
Behind a record-breaking performance from Scottie Wilbekin, Darussafaka Istanbul vaulted into the 7DAYS EuroCup Finals in emphatic fashion on Friday, completing a semifinals sweep by beating FC Bayern Munich on the road by 87-83 in Game 2 of their best-of-three series. Wilbekin made 10 three-point shots on his way to 41 points, breaking EuroCup all-time records in both categories for a non-overtime game. He also dished 5 assists and made 2 steals for an index rating of 44, the third highest ever in a semifinal game. Wilbekin got enough help from JaJuan Johnson, with 16 points, and Howard Sant-Roos, with 12, to take over the game after halftime, but his 10th triple from near half-court with 1:32 to play was needed to finally shut the door on Bayern. The home team got 14 points from Reggie Redding, 13 each from Devin Booker and Vladimir Lucic, as well as 12 apiece from Danilo Barthel and Braydon Hobbs. But an advantage in several other statistical categories was not enough for Bayern to overcome Wilbekin making 4 more three-pointers than the hosts by himself.
Semifinal B: Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia 69-79 Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar (0-2)
Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar clinched a spot in the 7DAYS EuroCup Finals by downing Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia 69-79 on the road in Game 2 of their best-of-three series on Friday. Lokomotiv swept the series 2-0 and remained undefeated through 20 games, breaking its own EuroCup record for an in-season winning streak. Mardy Collins led the winners with 22 points and 8 rebounds. Frank Elegar added 19 points on 8-of-9 two-point shooting and 9 rebounds, while Joe Ragland had 13 points. James White led Reggio Emilia with 14 points. Amedeo Della Valle added 12 while Manu Markoishvili and Garrett Nevels each had 10. Markoishvili allowed Reggio Emilia to go ahead 10-4, but Elegar took over soon to give Lokomotiv a 15-17 lead after 10 minutes. Elegar and Ragland fueled a 0-11 run that allowed the guests to get a double-digit margin, 26-39, at halftime. James White and Della Valle managed to bring Reggio Emilia within 40-49 late in the third quarter, but Ragland and Collins stepped up to restore a 42-58 Lokomotiv margin after 30 minutes and keep full control of the game until the final buzzer for a historic win.